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2012 Outback 2.5 i Premium
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On my test drive the outside temp indicator was correct. That was two days ago. Yesterday it was off by about ten degrees. Today it's off about twenty degrees.

Is this a common problem with the Outback. Is there something I can check or should I take it in?
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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Is this while sitting in the sun, or while driving? Is it reading high low?

If it is reading incorrectly while sitting in the garage, definitely take it in. Mine sometimes reads high when it has been sitting in the sun. It corrects when it gets moving. I do not know the location of the sensor, but something may be interfering with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's reading low while driving in the sun. The heat index is 98 but it's indicating 87.
 

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01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
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i don't know about your 12, but on my 01 the sensor is in front of the rad and AC condenser, just behind the grill. check to see if it is clear or something obvious. mine reads hot in the summer when i get in the car but it cools off as i drive and the air moves around it.
 

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If you are using a lot of air conditioner, it can read low. Like I say, I have not located the sensor yet, but that doesn't sound too out of line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's pretty darned hot so the AC is going while we're driving. I've had plenty of other vehicles where this hasn't been an issue. I can understand 5 degrees here or there but ten degrees seems pretty high. I'm hoping it's nothing major. I'm going to take it out again this evening and see if it still does it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Uh, I know that. It's still nowhere's near the actual temp. I should have been more specific.

Thanks for the weather lesson. We don't have weather in Nebraska. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Looks like it's working now. That time in the garage must have stymied it.
 

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2012 2.5i premium AWP sunroof, ice silver metallic
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just to reiterate, the heat index is NOT the actual temperature. don't compare what your OB reads to the heat index because it's not going to be the same. for example, the actual temperature here the other day was 97, but the heat index was 109 due to humidity. no need to be a jerk about it (the no weather in Nebraska comment); if you didn't understand the difference or just misspoke, just admit it & move on.
 

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It might be defective. If you look at the front of the car, the sensor is a little unit attached to a clip mount in front of the lower right side of the radiator. Mine occasionally reads off, or gets "stuck" on a temp and wont adjust until the car is turned off and back on. I have had 2 defective sensors, one on my forester and one on my outback. If it reads off or gets stuck it is probably in need of replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks ROC. That was the response I was looking for. It appears to be more accurate now. In my experience with auto temp gauges they usually read closer to the heat index or wind chill rather than the actual temp. It looks like the Subie does it closer to the actual temp. I can live with that.
 

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Well mine has been in the garage for a couple of hours while I waxed it. I then drove down to Home Depot and couple of other places (was gone an hour or so) and the temp reading never moved from 78 while the actual temp outside is 91. Was using A/C.
This has happened (once?) before but seems to have corrected itself, but doesn't seem to be correcting itself this time. Time for a trip to the dealer?:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Mine just did it the one time. It's been accurate all day. I'd hold off on taking it in if I were you.
 

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Thanks ROC. That was the response I was looking for. It appears to be more accurate now. In my experience with auto temp gauges they usually read closer to the heat index or wind chill rather than the actual temp. It looks like the Subie does it closer to the actual temp. I can live with that.
A sensor can read closer to the heat index or wind chill only if its surface is kept wet (see def of "wet bulb temperature"), which is very unlikely in car termometers. Even then, you would have the wind chill of the car's wind, which is not what you want. The other alternative would be to do a temp and humidity reading, with computerized correction -- again unlikely in car termometers.

Most likely, the other car sensors reading close to the heat index were simply mis-calibrated.
 

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In my experience with auto temp gauges they usually read closer
to the heat index or wind chill rather than the actual temp.
That musta been in the days before thermometers -- when the
gauge was controlled by a ferret in a cage behind the grill...

...or an irish setter on the roof,

Looby
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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I think the ECU will use/display the coolest of 'recent' temperatures and may only allow updates slowly. It behaves that way because there is an assumption of being fooled to the 'hot' side from being near an engine.

I think there was a better explanation posted - but that's the gist of what I recall.
 
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